In his article Red as in Dead? Not Again (May 1) Larry Keith reveals the main reason why Los Angeles will again win the National League West. The remarks of Cincinnati Manager Sparky Anderson exemplify the overconfidence of his whole ball club. Sparky should learn not to shoot off his mouth when the team "the 70s have belonged to" cannot hold its own against a team that has "accomplished zero." Look who swept the most recent series between L.A. and Cincinnati—the Dodgers! When the end of the season comes around and Tom Seaver hasn't won 25 games and Dan Driessen isn't MVP, we shall see who has accomplished zero.
Salt Lake City
Los Angeles 4, Cincinnati 2.
Los Angeles 14, Cincinnati 4.
So much for the Reds' victories in L.A.
Maybe by September you will be believers. Long live the Dodgers!
Long Beach, Calif.
As of this writing, Tom Seaver's last start (against Philadelphia) produced these statistics: two innings, seven hits, six walks, three strikeouts and seven runs, six of them earned. Seaver also committed an error. Please inform Sparky Anderson that I'll take his bet on Seaver. After six starts (0-3, 6.52 ERA) and considering Seaver's overall performance, 20 wins would seem out of reach.
After reading Larry Keith's article, I would guess the only course of action available to the Giants, Astros, Padres and Braves is to apply for minor league status.
Obviously, the Reds and Dodgers are heavy favorites in the NL West; however, claiming that it's a two-team race only 16 games into the season is absurd. The caliber of athletes on the four other Western Division teams calls for more respect and credit than Keith seems willing to give.
My long-standing admiration for Gary Player was increased by the article in your May 1 issue (No Such Word as Can't). I am, nevertheless, a bit awed by Barry McDermott's portrayal of Player as a halo-wrapped, incorruptible, physically fit ascetic.
Maybe as an old retired professor I am jealous of Player's physical condition and ability to putt. But I wish you would take another look at your splendid cover photograph. The buckle marks on Player's belt make it appear that he has had to let it out two notches—and at one time three. Now I have never had to do that!
W. L. WILEY
Chapel Hill, N.C.
In your recent preview of the U.S. professional soccer season (March 27) you explained that Washington Diplomat Winger Andries Maseko's nickname—"Six Lights"—is a reference to a game in his home country of South Africa during which he scored six goals and his name was put up in lights on the scoreboard each time.
In this part of the world Maseko is called "Six Mabone," which indeed translates as Six Lights. However, "six mabone" is a common slang expression that derives from the six lights on the front of big American automobiles and means, roughly, "lots of class."